Today's lesson: Don't mess with John Kennedy. No, really.
Obviously, nobody warned Biden judicial nominee Dale Ho. Actually, they should have warned him that two of the Republican senators he'd be facing at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday for the Manhattan Federal District Court would be Louisiana's John Kennedy and Texas' Ted Cruz — not exactly the guys to try to slip a fast one past.
Things didn't go well for Ho.
The far-left voting rights litigator ended up apologizing for his “overheated rhetoric” on social media after being justifiably decimated by Cruz, and was masterfully trapped in a yuuge lie by Kennedy after denying multiple times that he had referred to the Republican Party as an “anti-democratic virus.” All of that, as Republicans on the Senate's judiciary panel questioned Ho's temperament, as reported by Reuters.
Cruz jumped all over Ho and his anger issues from the outset, as reported by Fox News.
“I would note at the outset, that that's not just my characterization. You yourself have described yourself as ‘a wild-eyed Leftist.' Further, as someone ‘accused sometimes of seeing discrimination everywhere you look.' Is that right?”
“Well, Senator Cruz, I think I was characterizing how others have caricatured myself,” Ho responded.
Cruz returned serve:
“So in the last 12 months, you have engaged — or the last about 18 months — you have engaged in partisan attacks on multiple members of this committee?”
Cruz then quoted Ho from the past.
“‘In these dark times, I've [Ho] been fortunate to find tremendous sense of purpose in my work as a civil rights lawyer. But as a colleague of mine asked me over lunch recently, Dale, do you do this because you want to help people or because you hate conservatives?'” Cruz said, quoting Ho. He continued:
“What he was getting at is that anger can, in fact, be a tremendous source of power. For me [Ho], righteous indignation can provide a sense of moral clarity and motivate the long hours needed to get the work done. But it's only a short-term burst. It's not sustaining in the long run.”
So, lemme get this straight. Ho has has “short-term bursts” of anger management issues. Sounds legit.
Cruz noted Ho had “tweeted attacks” at multiple members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and that “far from being intemperate statements when you were a teenager, most of these tweets occurred last year.”
Dale Ho—Biden’s nominee for the Southern District of New York—has written about his hatred of conservatives.
If a conservative were to appear before his courtroom, why would they be confident he would be fair and impartial? pic.twitter.com/p36VFYPePo
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) December 1, 2021
Round One: Cruz.
Sen. Kennedy followed the same line of questioning, keying on the Biden nominee's demonstrated anger:
“Mr. Ho, you're a smart man. I can tell. But think you're an angry man… We don't need federal judges who are angry.”
Ho finally admitted that his “tone” at times didn't “reflect how [he's] shown up in court, or how [he's] conducted [him]self in professional settings.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) to Biden's judicial nominee Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's voting rights project, in today's Judiciary Committee hearing:
"Mr. Ho, you're a smart man. I can tell. But I think you're an angry man…. We don't need federal judges who are angry." 🤔
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) December 1, 2021
Ho futilely attempted to convince Kennedy he would set aside his prior role as an advocate and serve “as a fair, neutral, impartial arbiter of the law,” if he is confirmed to the U.S. District Court.
Cruz wasn't buying either, calling Ho an “extreme partisan,” noting that Ho had “tweeted attacks at multiple members of this committee.”
Kennedy offered that he had “grave concerns” over Ho's anger.
Then came the trap.
Kennedy asked Ho if he would withdraw his own nomination if he were found to have called the Republican Party “an anti-democratic virus.” The senator reminded Ho he was under oath, but instead of answering the question, yes or no, Ho continued to say he didn't “believe” he had made such a statement.
Here's how that exchange went, as transcribed by Trending Politics:
“Did you say, quote, ‘Republicanism is an anti-democratic virus'?” Sen. Kennedy asked.
“No, Senator, I don't believe I've used those words,” Ho replied.
“Okay, you're under oath now,” Kennedy pointed out.
“Yes, Senator, I – I don't believe I've used those words,” Ho repeated. “I do remember saying last year that ‘there was a… loss of confidence in our elections that has spread kind of like a virus',” he continued.
“Right, well, that's a long way from calling the Republican Party an ‘anti-democratic virus',” Kennedy remarked.
“Yes, it's very different, and I don't believe I used those words,” Ho said again.
“Right, right,” the senator responded. “If you did use those words, will you pull down your nomination?”
“Senator, I don't believe I've used those words,” Ho said a fourth time.
“But if you did,” Kennedy refrained. “Will you withdraw?”
“I can't imagine a scenario in which I would use those words,” he replied.
A scenario can not only be “imagined,” Mr. Ho, that scenario actually happened. Verbatim.
In a typical political op-ed in The New York Times in January titled, ‘An Indelible Stain': How the G.O.P. Tried to Topple a Pillar of Democracy, Ho was quoted as saying the following. (Emphasis, mine.)
“There is an anti-democratic virus that has spread in mainstream Republicanism, among mainstream Republican elected officials.
“And that loss of faith in the machinery of democracy is a much bigger problem than any individual lawsuit.”
Needless to say, Ho didn't withdraw his nomination — nor would he give it a second thought.
Why would he?
Dale Ho's silly ad hominem attack on the GOP was the leftist equivalence of a badge of honor, along with all his other leftist attacks against conservative lawmakers and conservative principles.
Meanwhile, the Democrats will confirm this guy, with nary an objection on their side, if any.
In other fun Biden administration news: